Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

B How do we know the size of the universe?

  1. May 30, 2017 #1
    I constantly hear facts like, if an atom was enlarged to the size of the solar system, a string would be the size of a tree. But how are we able to calculate the size of the universe if it may be infinite? Is it just the observable universe?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 30, 2017 #2

    Orodruin

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Yes. This will typically be what someone referring to "the size of the Universe" means.
     
  4. May 30, 2017 #3
    Thanks
     
  5. May 30, 2017 #4
    Plank length 1.6 * 10-35, hydrogen atom 2.5 * 10-11 difference is around 1024
    Hydrogen atom 2.5 * 10-11, solar system 1013 difference is around 1024

     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  6. May 30, 2017 #5
    I watched a documentary and it said tree, I admit I was a bit surprised - I thought they would be much smaller. An atom makes so much more sense.
    Thanks for the clarification.
     
  7. May 31, 2017 #6
    That would mean if you would enlarge an atom to the size of the observable universe, the planck length would be equivalent to the size of around two hundred pinheads.
    May be wrong
     
  8. May 31, 2017 #7
    better to find a mid point IMO.
    8.7×1026 m
    1.62×10−35 m
    Maybe a fog particle or width of human hair.
    You could also break it up into 3 units of 1020. plank length:diameter of nucleus, nucleus:width of New Jersey, New Jersey: diameter observable universe.
    Orders_of_magnitude_(length)

    "200 pin heads" could be a 10X20 pile or 200 in a row.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted